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Ferrari vs. Dragon: Italian sports car flips on twisty, popular roadway

The 2020 488 Pista crashed around lunchtime Wednesday. The driver was unhurt.
Credit: Idiots on the Dragon
Screengrab from Idiots on the Dragon Facebook page

Add a Ferrari to the list of flashy cars eaten by the infamous, scenic and popular "Dragon" motorway of Blount County.

Leone Padula of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was driving his red 2020 Ferrari around lunchtime Wednesday when the Italian sports car flipped on the road, formally known as Calderwood Highway and U.S. 129.

Padula was about 3 miles from the North Carolina line in Blount County when he lost control of the car trying to "negotiate a right curve with a dip in the road," according to a Blount County Sheriff's Office report. He was driving faster than the 30-mph limit, the report states.

The 700-horsepower Ferrari, which "Car and Driver" says goes for more than $300,000, "went across the oncoming lane and into the dirt embankment."

It then flipped back into the roadway and landed on its top.

Padula was not hurt. Blount County authorities cited him for reckless driving, records show.

The crash of the Ferrari 488 was documented this week in the online newsite The Drive.

The stretch of Highway 129 is known as the Tail of the Dragon because of its many twists and turns. It is very popular with motorcyclists.

The Dragon, often referred to as "The Tail of the Dragon", draws motorists and motorcyclists --- often testing out their high-end vehicles -- from around the globe, attracted by its many challenging twists, turns and dips.

Unfortunately, it often is the scene of fatalities and injury wrecks because some drivers misjudge how to handle it. Some end up going off the treacherous stretch and into the trees and scrub.

Blount County and Tennessee Highway Patrol authorities always advise drivers to be mindful of the speed limit, to wear their seat belts and to drive with care while on the Dragon.